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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: May 13, 2014 6:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: I'll Take A Melody JGB 2-28-80

One of Garcia's longest and best takes on Toussaint's song > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dg27Sxpp9U

Both artists share a certain sweetness and gentleness that is a rare and beautiful thing.

Kean College is a buy. Great release.

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Poster: fenario80 Date: May 14, 2014 10:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: I'll Take A Melody JGB 2-28-80

Totally agreed ... and the GarciaLive Vol. 1 release from two nights later features my personal favorite versions of Twist of Fate and Sitting In Limbo. Jerry was ripping on this tour

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Poster: selfimportantdeadhead Date: May 15, 2014 5:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: I'll Take A Melody JGB 2-28-80

Totally agree. This is the greatest performance I heard yet from Jerry. The solo to I'll Take A Melody from 2-28-80 has all the traits of his phrasing and musical ideas. The whole show is a masterpiece.

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Poster: selfimportantdeadhead Date: May 15, 2014 5:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: I'll Take A Melody JGB 2-28-80

Totally agree. This is the greatest performance I heard yet from Jerry. The solo to I'll Take A Melody from 2-28-80 has all the traits of his phrasing and musical ideas. The whole show is a masterpiece.

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Poster: selfimportantdeadhead Date: May 15, 2014 5:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: I'll Take A Melody JGB 2-28-80

Totally agree. This is the greatest performance I heard yet from Jerry. The solo to I'll Take A Melody from 2-28-80 has all the traits of his phrasing and musical ideas. The whole show is a masterpiece.

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Poster: wineland Date: May 13, 2014 11:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: I'll Take A Melody JGB 2-28-80

Few commercial releases I have continually gone back to, but Kean is one. Such a sweet song to listen to. Thanks for rebroadcasting and including the link.

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Poster: selfimportantdeadhead Date: May 15, 2014 5:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: I'll Take A Melody JGB 2-28-80

Totally agree. This is the greatest performance I heard yet from Jerry. The solo to I'll Take A Melody from 2-28-80 has all the traits of his phrasing and musical ideas. The whole show is a masterpiece.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: May 13, 2014 9:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: I'll Take A Melody JGB 2-28-80

Agreed on all above. BTW, great liner notes by Hunter for the release. Discusses how Dylan thought Garcia was best interpreter of Dylan's works.

Robert Hunter:

"Write about a JGB tour form 25 years ago? It was still liquid time: We were
all immortal then, and chronology didn't count; it just kind of dripped and
puddled. Let's see...who was in the band back then? Johnny de Foncensca, Ozzie
Ahlers, and John Kahn. This was a stripped-down Garcia Band, a mere quartet,
all business and no frills. No backup singers. Just enough rhythm and chordal
harmony to permit soloing. It didn't feature much in the way of Grateful Dead
songs. A lot of good Garcia solo-band songs hadn't been written yet. There are
as many Dylan tunes at this particular gig, at Kean College, as there are
Garcia-Hunter compositions.(Did anyone ever mention that Garcia is probably the top Dylan interpreter, after the man himself? Dylan thinks so, and I'd have to
agree.)

"Jerry was in top form vocally and instrumentally, playing lead and back up
guitar at the same time. Those sneaky backup phrases are evident everywhere.
And there is an energy to Jerry's whole performance that shows him at his very
peak. He even remembers the words! In this context, his guitar-solo work is
convesational rather than declamatory. Quarter style--talkin' to you. No intent
to impress. Prestadium stuff. Call-and-response is thick, John rising and
falling like waves over which Garcia surfs effortlessly. Cool. Definative. This
is a new music. Nothing else like it anywhere, though no one particularly
notices. Why should they? It sounds like this form has always existed. Perhaps
it has, but not in "rock."

"1980 found us at the high end of our thirties, hailed and defiled as ancients
in the punk-, new wave-, and heavy metal-dominated world of rock, after an
unheard-of 15 year run in the majors. Fifteen years in popular music without a
single major hit, although we provided the biggest dependable draw in the game. I'd already written "Touch of Grey," although it would be another half-decade before the band got around to rescoring and recording it, granting us more"sucess" than we knew what to do with. Which was all to the good. We were
always more comfortable crawling on our bellies to make ends meet than
accommodating the glare and diamond screens of the stadiums."

"When I(R.Hunter) got the call to join the tour, I was living in a little house
with mortgage payments of $640 a month, driving a used car, and doing five or
six solo tours a year, bringing home an average of $10,000 per tour to feed and
clothe a family of five. GD records didn't sell all that well, so royalties
were pretty punk, and I needed to perform to live. Jerry was doing better
financially, but fielding higher expenses, so he had to work as hard as someone
starting out in his career."

"Failing a hit record, rock 'n' roll is a hard grind. Jerry was forever putting
bands together in fits of enthusiasm; then he had to take them on tour to
support them. He paid them, and his crews, well, and they were intensely loyal.
But it took its toll on his health. It was obvious he was dangerously
overextending himself, but you might as well tell the sun not to shine as tell
Garcia not to travel. The band I toured with in the winter of 1980 was the 5th
or 6th such unit he'd assembled, most including his good friend John Kahn. John
was a great wit and very easy to be around. That was essential. Relax and roll
was the motto.

"Little Johnny Dee was the son of Big Johnny Dee, a jolly Jamaican carpenter
who built Mickey's studio in the pastures of Novato. I remember Little Johnny
as a quiet kid who grew up around the scene and liked to work out on Mickey's
drum kit, which was always set up in the studio, getting tips from the master
along the way. This tour was his 1st chance at the big time. It was damned
sweet of Jerry to hand it to him, and the kid proved adequate to the chance.
Johnny, Sr., had died a while before(Cancer I think), and Johnny, Jr., didn't
have long to live, with a car wreck soon to write Paid to his future, but at
least he got a chance to do the dream for a while."

"Jerry was also giving me my first crack at the larger stages."My pleasure to
introduce you to the big time," he said with W.C. Fields-ian grandiosity. I'd
been playing the dives with my band Roadhog (which included Ozzie Ahlers on
keyboard), and then more dives with my subsequent band Comfort, but couldn't
make enough money to pay anybody very much. In fact, I didn't take a cut--there wasn't enough. I'd begun doing solo shows for the aformentioned reasons. So,when the call came, I was roughly ready and more than a bit nervous."

"Truth be told, I felt more comfortable fronting the band for "Tiger Rose" and
"Promontory Rider" than taking the solo-spot hot seat for which I'd been hired.
At least people weren't miling around through my set, waiting for the band
they'd paid to see! With the redoubtable bass of Kahn underfoot and sweet fills
by Garcia to camouflage my ragged guitar chops, it was a piece of cake. I think
it was Jerry's way of paying me back somewhat for the submerged, "in the shadow of" status of lyricist. Long used to being The Invisible Man, I enjoyed a taste of the light shining on me in the big rooms as much as he semed to enjoy
providing it."

"Jerry's generousity of spirit was as deep as his talent; they were part of
parcel of the same thing. I'm not just eulogizing here. If you've got ears to
hear, there it is in his music and in his voice."

~Robert Hunter on JGB's 2/28/1980 Kean College "After Midnight" show/winter
1980 tour.

This post was modified by bluedevil on 2014-05-14 04:23:17

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: May 14, 2014 2:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: I'll Take A Melody JGB 2-28-80

Neat writeup. Thanks for posting.

So Robert Hunter made $50-60,000 a year in 1980. Adjusted for inflation, that's $143,000 to $172,000 in 2014 terms. He topped that off with some royalties, although he says it wasn't much.

His $640 a month mortgage payment is equivalent to $1,800 today.

He noted that Jerry was more successful financially by that point but had "higher expenses." (Yeah, along with John Kahn.) I wonder what the band members pulled in each year at that time.

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Poster: William Tell Date: May 14, 2014 5:37am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: I'll Take A Melody JGB 2-28-80

Yes, that was an excellent piece...thanks, BD; and yes, AR, those $$ aspects are interesting. My old man made $20k in 77, and seemed to be doing fine...I never thought we were poor, in any event. I knew lots of folks w mortgages of < $ 500 per month in the late 70s; I am surprised his was so high unless that was a nice house on property in Novato...

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: May 14, 2014 7:38am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: I'll Take A Melody JGB 2-28-80

Then your dad was just above the national average, which was about $16,000 (which equates to $46,000 adjusted for inflation). That was also roughly the average salary of a public school teacher in 1980.

I guess for Hunter/band members, the question would be, who did it compare to? Hunter's mortgage (inflation-adjusted) is pretty typical for smallish houses in nice but not ritzy neighborhoods in DC today; but that doesn't mean it was the case back then. His earnings (inflation-adjusted) would make him the lawyer or dentist next door -- good, but not rock star good.

But then, I have no idea what lawyers and dentists earned in 1980. I did find one page that said the average salary of an NFL player in 1980 was $78,000. So if Hunter lived next door to a football player, I guess he'd feel he had empty pockets.

And also, whenever he met Mick Jagger.

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Poster: selfimportantdeadhead Date: May 15, 2014 5:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: I'll Take A Melody JGB 2-28-80

Totally agree. This is the greatest performance I heard yet from Jerry. The solo to I'll Take A Melody from 2-28-80 has all the traits of his phrasing and musical ideas. The whole show is a masterpiece.